What Is Conversion Anyway?
Online businesses spend a lot of time, energy and money to get visitors (notice I did not say customers yet) to their website or online shop. They may do this by working on their SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay per click) advertising and social media, just to mention a few. These are great ways to increase the number of walk-ins on your website, and generally this can result in more sales. However (and here is the catch), more traffic on your website does not guarantee increase in sales.
Conversion is the rate at which your website can transform website visitor into a sales, booking or even an enquiry. In some ways it is a measure of how effective your website is at convincing customers to commit. This same measure can also be applied to other aspects of your online strategy, such as ad conversion, which is the rate at which people viewing your ad are actually clicking.
In this article we focus on some tips on how you can improve the conversion rates on your website. Starting from a casual web visitor, the aim is to encourage engagement in the form of an action, typically a sale or enquiry. Here are some ways to achieve this:
Your website may already offer well presented products / services together with stunning photography and attractive descriptions. However when it comes to placing their order customers are easily discouraged (or frustrated) by your checkout process. This may be as easy as a one-page confirmation or a complex multi-stage process, however time spent making this step easy and clear can easily improve your conversion. Cart abandonment is something you should measure and track on your website and will give you a good idea of how many sales are lost at the very point of confirmation. Here are some tips for you:
A postcode lookup will work well in the UK and other countries, saving customers having to type in long address details if they know their postcode. This has also the advantage that it produces cleaner valid addresses in your database.
Keep It Simple
Simple always works. This means, even if you offer many options and great facilities within your checkout, always allow for a quick and easy way to place an order as most customers will prefer convenience and speed over fancy functions.
SSL certification is not just a technical gizmo for your website, but also a way to win the trust of customers. People are today looking out for your SSL certification when asked for personal or payment details, so do not let them down.
Another key tool in improving conversions is the use of dedicated landing pages. These are simply pages designed to collect visitors coming from a specific campaign or promotion (thus the landing). These pages ensure that once a visitor clicks on an offer or advert on say Facebook, the information shown is relevant to that specific offer and contains a clear call to action (CTC), as opposed to your general home page or list of products.
The design, content and structure of your product pages can make a big difference to your conversion rates. Depending on your products or sector, product pages play a critical role in giving customers all the information (and reassurance) they need to place an order. Visual information works best, where good quality photography and video clips are more effective than pages of text. Clear pricing is also critical, and this should include discounts / tax information to let customers know what is the price they will pay, before they are asked to commit!
Webcraft develops and runs numerous business sites for its customers in the UK, Malta and other countries. Our experience in building transactional, sales oriented online solutions can be useful to your organisation. Webcraft’s e-business packages include all the tools, services and advice you will need to get started and grow.